Arab League Calls Urgent Meeting Over Failing Israel-PA Talks
The Arab League has called an emergency meeting of foreign ministers for April 9 to discuss the floundering US-brokered peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA), League chief Nabil al-Arabi said on Wednesday.
The meeting will discuss Israel's refusal to release more terrorists, Arabi told AFP. PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas requested the meeting, Arabi
said, adding it would "examine developments in the light of Israel's refusal to release a fourth tranche of prisoners and extend talks."
The League has backed Abbas's stubbornness throughout talks, and rejected recognition of Israel as a Jewish state last month.
In February, the League also stated that there would be no peace without a Palestinian state with partitioning Jerusalem, and claimed that recent Israeli actions are intended to foil the peace process. The League recently mulled the idea of turning over the Temple Mount - Judaism's holiest site - to the UN, to avoid Israel allowing Jewish worship there.
So far, the Arab League has continued to back the position of PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas, who has consistently said that unless all his preconditions are met, there will be no peace with Israel.
The PA has already formally refused to recognize Israel as a Jewish state throughout talks, stating that "the Arab states will never recognize a Jewish state." In addition, the PA Chairman will reportedly only agree to extend talks if Israel allows a "right of return" for Palestinian Arabs, frees terrorist leaders, and enacts a total freeze on construction in Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria.
On Tuesday, Abbas took his defiance a step further: approaching the UN and other international agencies for legitimacy on the one hand - breaking a condition of talks - whilst encouraging US Secretary of State John Kerry to continue talks on the other. Kerry has since cancelled a planned meeting with Abbas set for Wednesday.